Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hitting notes

by Barca Blog - A couple of notes and quotes from Saturday's 10-0 win over Indiana.

Start me up

Playing in their first elimination game of the NCAA tournament, the Commodores needed a quick start on the scoreboard Saturday to erase any jitters, especially after getting in a 4-0 hole in Friday's regional opening loss to Middle Tennessee.

Head coach Tim Corbin searched for a spark and he started with leadoff hitter Brian Harris.

"Harry, you got to get it going now," Corbin said during pregame warmups. "We run on you and your due."

Harris didn't disappoint. In his first at bat, the MBA product took a 2-2 offering deep over the left field fence, his eighth round tripper of the year. Jonathan White followed with a triple and scored on Curt Casali's groundout to short, giving the 'Dores a 2-0 lead right off the bat.

“We talked about getting momentum today," Corbin said. "We needed to get some things flowing offensively for our psyche more than anything else. We had some good hitters that just had tougher days yesterday."

The Commodores' 1-4 hitters (Harris, White, Liddle, Casali) were held to 1-for-15 at the plate with one run and no RBIs against MTSU -- the only hit being White's double in the ninth. Corbin's same four (except Liddle and Casali swapped places in the order) had a huge day Saturday, going 7-for-17 with six RBIs, six runs and four extra-base hits.

"They were very productive," Corbin added. "I thought that’s where the leadership came from. They got in there and swung the bat very well. It was a team effort today, but it started from the top."

Being Aggressive

Corbin provided the stat of the game in his postgame press conference.

"We really earned this game offensively. (Friday) we walked eight times and struck out once. (Saturday) we struck out nine times and walked once, so all of our offense was generated from struck balls off (Matt Bashore) who had won his last five starts. That kid was basically unhittable in the Big Ten.

"We talked about just trying to force it a little bit (on offense). I think the kids just reacted and got it going. They just got knocked back on their heels a little bit Friday and were disappointed but got back up and started unloading and throwing punches."

Reynolds provides punch

Freshman second baseman Riley Reynolds has made some dazzling plays in the field so far, but was also able to give the 'Dores an offensive punch out of the ninth spot in the lineup Saturday.

The Lee's Summit, Mo., native broke out of a 2-for-19 slump against the Hoosiers by going 3-for 4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI. It was his first multi-hit game since May 9 against Georgia.

"Riley wore out that left field line," Corbin said of the left-handed hitter. "It was nice to see because he has been kept in check the last three weeks, so it was good to get him going."

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